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Thread: Sinking of ss Gemstone

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Hey Pam,

    My grandfather, Jack Litchfield, was on the SS Gemstone. (He just passed a couple of years ago.) I often talked to him about the war and his time as a POW in Japan. I can help answer any questions that you may have. I'll also type up a short summary of what I know regarding the ship, it's sinking, and their time in Japan. In the meantime, you should check out this link, which will give you more information on the POW camp. Be warned some of the pictures are hard to see, but you should definitely see if you father can point himself out (if he's still with us):

    Fukuoka #3 POW Camp - Japan

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  3. #12
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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Hey Margaret,
    I'd be interested in reading the journal! Perhaps you could try photographing it or scanning it? (I'm in America.)
    Also, this book passage discussed the sinking of the gemstone and your father: https://books.google.com/books?id=H4...mstone&f=false

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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Hi there
    Im writing in the hope you may be able to help me with more information regarding my late husband Dennis Lee who was on the Gemstone and POW in Fukuoka
    Japan. Thank you

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  6. #14
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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Hopefully, one of the earlier poster's on the thread
    an existing member or someone new may help.

    All the best in your quest.

    Regards,

    Keith.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Quote Originally Posted by ChristineLockwoodLee View Post
    Hi there
    Im writing in the hope you may be able to help me with more information regarding my late husband Dennis Lee who was on the Gemstone and POW in Fukuoka
    Japan. Thank you
    There is an excellent organisation which has a site called Children of Far Eastern Prisoners of War that has a lot of information and a large membership which may have information/members that can help you with your Quest. There is a Lee Dennis private No. 3859268 captured 15 Feb. 1942 mentioned I do not know how to post the links etc. If you google COFEPOW and see if it is of any help.

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  10. #16
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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred Branson View Post
    Hi
    I am posting on my Dad's behalf.
    He is Alfred Branson- known as Bill
    Age 94
    He was a gunner on the Gemstone when it was sunk and spent the rest of the war in a Japanese prison camp.
    He would like any information about this .

    Pam Fisher
    Dear Pam,
    My Grandfather Joseph Osborne was the Chief Engineer on SS Gemstone when she was torpedoed in the South Atlantic by a German surface raider and he also was sent to Japan as a POW to the Fukuoka POW camp. It would be great to meet you and your father if that would be possible. I am researching the male side of my family currently and live in Wakefield West Yorkshire.
    Regards,
    Ian Osborne

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  12. #17
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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
    Dear Pam,
    My Grandfather Joseph Osborne was the Chief Engineer on SS Gemstone when she was torpedoed in the South Atlantic by a German surface raider and he also was sent to Japan as a POW to the Fukuoka POW camp. It would be great to meet you and your father if that would be possible. I am researching the male side of my family currently and live in Wakefield West Yorkshire.
    Regards,
    Ian Osborne

    Hey Ian and Pam,

    I wish this page was around a few years ago. My grandfather's memory of the sinking, transfer, hellish time in Fukuoka #3, the absolute luck of a having a cloudy day on 8/9/1945, a train ride through Nagasaki after the bomb had destroyed the city, and finally arriving in San Fransisco was amazingly clear until the day he passed. Here are some short clips of his oral history: On the luck of having a cloudy day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYoeZ9S7qkY
    Creating an interesting weapon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAOaOYIWtMg

    Here's a link discussing the intended target for the atomic bomb https://ghb67.wordpress.com/2011/12/...ns-lucky-city/ and here is the location of the prison camp. https://www.google.com/maps/place/33...1!4d130.849601 There's absolutely no way they would have survived had it not been cloudy that day.

    I hope to upload the entire DVD shortly. I'll try supplement it with other stories like the poisoning of Horace Frederick Archer in Fukuoka #3 for seeking food outside of the POW camp. According to my grandfather, to ensure the prisoners didn't take food from the townspeople, they would poison some of the food and offer it to the prisoners. My grandfather indicated that his best friend in camp, Horace Archer, decided to accept outside food, fell ill, and died just a couple of months before the end of the war. If you all have any documents or stories, please share them!

    Thanks,
    Stephen

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  14. #18
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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Thanks Stephen,
    That is very interesting. Sadly I do not have any documents, except my Grandfather's Merchant Navy record showing him taken prisoner after the sinking.
    Regards,
    Ian

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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    I also have a green Australian Army shirt which according to my father was issued to my Grandfather when the camp was liberated
    Regards,
    Ian

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    Default Re: Sinking of ss Gemstone

    Until I can get the whole interview uploaded, here's a link of my grandfather discussing other topics following the sinking of the SS Gemstone for those that had loved ones on the ship. https://www.witnesstowar.org/search_...are=e2132c2b0d

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